New England chowder or “chowdah” as we New Englanders affectionately like to call it, is a soup with a base of broth and cream which is not to be confused with Manhattan Chowder which is tomato based. I remember ordering chowder in New York once many years ago and was very disappointed when I was given what looked like tomato soup and not something creamy as I was expecting.
My favorite types of chowders are corn chowder and fish chowder, so why not just combine them into one chowder. Once I asked a waitress in a Maine diner what was in their corn chowder and was told very matter of factly, “There’s cawn in the cawn chowdah”. I asked no further questions lol.
Most chowders are very fattening, and with this chowder I tried my best to make it as low fat as I could without sacrificing the creamy chowder taste. You can make it even less fattening by either using all milk, altering the amounts of milk and cream, or using a low fat milk which is what I use. If you want it creamier, use all cream and forget about the milk.
For this haddock chowdah you will need:
2 pounds haddock or cod
2-3 slices of bacon
2 cups frozen corn
1 stalk of celery
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
32 oz. seafood stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste
As I was trying to make this a little lower fat, I decided not to have the bacon fat in the chowder so I cooked the bacon first in a separate pan and drained it on a paper towel. Every little bit helps right?
Peel and cube the potatoes, chop about 1/4 cup of onion, chop the celery, mince the garlic, and crumble the cooked bacon.
Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large sauce pan, then add all of the vegetables, spices, and the crumbled bacon. Cook on low/medium heat for a few minutes while stirring frequently.
Add seafood stock to vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 5-7 minutes.
Cut the fish into large chunks and add to the pot and simmer covered for another 5-7 minutes.
Break up the fish into bite size pieces with a spoon while it is in the pot.
Add the butter, milk, cream, salt and pepper, and simmer covered for another 5-7 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Now you too are a chowdah lovah!!
Stamping silverware is another one of my many talents 😜